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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!


    That's it from Holyrood Live on Wednesday 26 June 2019.

    Plans to tackle child poverty by giving extra cash to low-income families in Scotland have been brought forward.

    The new Scottish Child Benefit payment of £10 per week will be rolled out for eligible under sixes in 2021, and to under-16s by the end of 2022.

    On a busy day in the parliament MSPs also voted for a presumption against the use of prison sentences of 12 months or less.

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay was asked to leave the chamber after refusing to retract the use of the word lying, used against the health secretary during the mesh statement.

    Earlier Mike Russell named former Labour MEP David Martin as one of the co-conveners of the forthcoming Citizens' Assembly.

  2. Minister welcomes UN special rapporteur's report on poverty

    Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell
    Image caption: Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell

    Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell says the Scottish government was pleased the UN special rapporteur spent time in Scotland.

    Ms Campbell says this allowed Professor Philip Alston to hear lived experience from people hit by the UK government's welfare reforms and austerity.

    She says the UK government's actions make it feel like Scotland is fighting poverty with one hand tied behind its back.

    The minister says the Scottish government has had to shield the most vulnerable and mitigate the cuts by the Tories.

    Labour MSP Elaine Smith asks if the minister will mitigate the so called 'rape clause'

    It's not sustainable to mitigate everything, replies the minister, the Scottish government has already had to spend £125m.

  3. Level of poverty 'unconscionable' in fifth richest economy

    Keith Brown

    Keith Brown says it is unconscionable that in the fifth richest economy 14 million people - or a fifth of the population - live in poverty, with 1.5 million in destitution.

    The SNP MSP says the report should shame the UK government, whom he accuses of "stubborn denial".

    He praises the Scottish government for "playing a positive role" in recognising people's rights and freedoms through social security.

    It is outrageous that a devolved government must mitigate the actions of the UK government, using money which could be used for other policies he argues.

  4. Background: Poverty in the UK is 'systematic' and 'tragic', says UN special rapporteur

    Prof Alston met people across the UK, including these Belfast residents
    Image caption: Prof Alston met people across the UK, including these Belfast residents

    The UK's social safety net has been "deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos", a report commissioned by the UN has said.

    Special rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston said "ideological" cuts to public services since 2010 have led to "tragic consequences".

    The report comes after Prof Alston visited UK towns and cities and made preliminary findings last November.

    The government said his final report was "barely believable".

    The £95bn spent on welfare and the maintenance of the state pension showed the government took tackling poverty "extremely seriously", a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said.

  5. UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Report - debate


    SNP MSP Keith Brown leads a member's debate welcoming the final report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights which was published on 22 May 2019.

  6. SUMMARY: Presumption against short sentences extended


    Short prison sentences of 12 months or less are expected to reduce after MSPs voted for a presumption against their use.

    The Scottish Conservatives voted against the move, but other opposition parties backed it.

    The presumption is not a ban, and courts will still be able to impose prison sentences of 12 months or less.

    It aims to increase the use of more effective methods of both addressing offending and rehabilitation, such as Community Payback Orders (CPOs).

    The change will apply to cases where the offence was committed on or after 4 July 2019.

  7. BreakingMSPs back presumption against sentences shorter than 12 months

    MSPs backs an extension of the presumption against short sentences handed out in Scottish courts, with 83 MSPs backing it and 26 against.

  8. Mesh halt will not be lifted

    Ms Freeman

    Ms Freeman responds to Mr Findlay's accusation, insisting the halt will not be lifted.

  9. 'I want a smarter justice system that reduces repeat crime'

    Mr Yousaf

    I want a smarter justice system that reduces repeat crime, begins the justice secretary, quoting a UK government minister.

    Mr Yousaf says Liam Kerr is concerned about his next Daily Mail column and that is about it.

    He points out only the Conservatives on the Justice Committee voted against this SSI and he reminds the chamber that this is a presumption not a ban.

    The minister says everyone is on the side of victims and he welcomes the vast majority of MSPs can look at the facts and support progressive justice reforms that will make us safer.

    This is a "win win for everyone involved," he concludes.

  10. Tory MSP speaks against presumption of sentences of under 12 months

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr rises to speak against the presumption against prison sentences of under 12 months.

    He says the data on whether it would work is unclear and argues it does not follow that those who received community sentences in lieu of three month sentences will have the same reconviction rates as 12 months.

    There are better ways to reduce the reconviction rate without the risks, Mr Kerr insists.

    This SSI imposes upon an independent judiciary the member argues.

    "I worry that, as we have heard from victims group, victims and the public have little face in community sentences," he says.

    I am certain there are safer, better and more considered ways, Mr Kerr concludes, urging members to vote against the motion.

  11. MSPs discuss extending restrictions on short prison sentences


    An extension of the presumption against short sentences handed out in Scottish courts is being discussed by MSPs.

    Read more.

  12. Neil Findlay told to to leave chamber

    Findlay leaving chamber

    The presiding officer returns to Mr Findlay, asking him to withdraw his comments.

    "I've very sorry but I cannot withdraw the comments," replies Mr Findlay.

    Mr Macintosh asks the member to leave the chamber.

  13. What about mesh used in other parts of the body?

    Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton

    Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton asks if mesh in other parts of body will be covered by today's announcements.

    The health secretary says the complex case unit will look at such cases, adding the starting point for these patients should be to speak to their clinician.

  14. 'Why is a reintroduction of mesh operations even being considered?'

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone welcomes the assurances there is no plans to reduce the halt on the use of mesh.

    Ms Johnstone does express concerns that those plans could still happen in the future.

    "Why is a reintroduction of mesh operations even being considered?"

    The minister reiterates she can forsee no circumstance in which she would approve the reintroduction of the use of mesh.

  15. Labour MSP says Freeman is 'either lying' or has 'no clue' what CMO is doing

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay welcomes the progress on bringing Dr Veronikis to Scotland.

    However, he says "something does not stack up with this", pointing to minutes which suggest it would be helpful to look at how the reintroduction of surgical service will work in practice and whether surgeries can take place in individual board.

    "The cabinet secretary has either lied to the women in Scotland, lied to this parliament, or she hasn't a clue what the chief medical officer is doing on her behalf. Which one is it?" he says.

    The presiding officer asks the member to rephrase as the word 'lying' is not permitted in parliament.

    Mr Findlay refuses to do so, arguing: "I would have thought the person exposing the mistruths and lies that have been told would be protected and the person who has done it would be thrown out."

    The presiding officer moves on to the next question.

  16. How confident is minister talks with Dr Veronikis will have positive conclusion?

    Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw
    Image caption: Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw

    Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw congratulates the cabinet secretary for the series of actions she has taken.

    How confident is the health secretary that these talks with Dr Veronikis will lead to a positive conclusion, asks Mr Carlaw.

    He also asks what the Scottish Conservatives can do to help with the UK government.

    Ms Freeman thanks Mr Caralw for his kind comments, support and work he has undertaken on this issue.

    I am confident the talks with Dr Veronikis will have a positive conclusion, she adds.

    The health secretary says she is grateful for the help Mr Carlaw is offering in terms of the UK government

  17. What are the interim arrangements for those requiring urgent care?

    SNP MSP Alex Neil

    SNP MSP Alex Neil asks how many women will benefit from the complex case review unit and what interim arrangements there are for those requiring urgent treatment.

    Ms Freeman says planning for the unit will include developing rigorous estimates.

    The short-life group is establishing a pathway with each relevant health board to respond quickly to requests for second opinions, she adds.